Linking accountability to public sector performance: a case study.

Graeme Rose

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    Abstract

    No evidence exists for a direct link between public sector decentralisation initiatives and improved organisation effectiveness despite the rhetoric surrounding its implementation. This paper examines the role of accountability as a key factor in the ‘mix’ of variables that operate to focus attention on improving learning outcomes in state-owned schools. Using a case study, the research seeks to investigate the way in which performance data are used to facilitate accountability and to inform principals of the appropriate focus for planning and strategy development. The study reveals that principals, while initially wary of performance data and unsure how to interpret them, experience greater feelings of empowerment when these data are read in the light of the school’s ‘narrative’. With this heightened sense of understanding, principals appear to gain a greater appreciation of the role of performance data and how to make use of them in developing annual performance plans and strategies, with a direct focus on improving student learning outcomes. Directly addressing areas in need of improvement, principals are able to satisfy their accountability obligations. The linking of performance data, accountability obligations and the setting of priorities for future action illustrates the operation of indirect links between SBM and improved school effectiveness. These links need to be investigated further with a view to identifying how they can be targeted and developed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)69-79
    Number of pages11
    JournalGlobal Business and Economics Anthology
    Volume2
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007

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